Working with Silver Clay

Top tips for storing Silver Clay after opening

One of the common things that concerns my students is, what do I do when I haven’t used all my clay? Will it dry out? Well the quick answer is yes, it will dry out if you don’t take some simple and easy precautions. So here they are!

Silver Clay lump

If you are storing lump clay, wrap it in some clear food wrap (clingfilm in the UK, Saran wrap in the US) and put it in a small air tight container (a plastic baby food container is usually ideal). I usually put a small piece of damp sponge or kitchen roll at the bottom as well just to make sure as it keeps the moisture in the pot and therefore in the clay. Keep in a cool place out of direct sunlight and your clay should keep for weeks in this way. If you are leaving it for longer, just check it every now and then and add some water if required.

I use distilled water and I would recommend you do too. It’s because tap water quality and mineral content can vary so much from country to country, it’s best to be safe and used distilled. You can pick up distilled water really easily at your local supermarket or car accessories store.

Silver Clay Syringe

Once opened, keep the syringe tip submerged in water. I keep a jar of water on my workbench at all times for this purpose. I have never had an issue with syringe clay drying out.

Silver Clay Paste

The paste comes in a fairly airtight pot with a screw top lid. But when you open it and work with you let air in which can dry the paste out. I have found the longevity of paste without intervention is quite good –but then I hasten to add, I live it the cool, damp and rainy climate of Scotland! So in warmer climates you will have to be more vigilant – a small price to pay for living somewhere that’s nice and warm and sunshiney! To keep the paste nice and thin in consistency, add a few drops of distilled water and stir in. You can even leave the drops of water suspended on top and close the lid and leave overnight. The water will permeate through over the course of night and you avoid getting bubbles in your clay – good if you’re doing any painting with the paste.

Silver Clay Sheet

Because the sheet clay is already dry, there’s no fear of it drying out. But you should store it in the plastic envelope it came in and avoid moisture at all costs! Sheet clay is completely different from its other counterparts, it hates moisture, cannot be reconstituted but will last indefinitely if you store it correctly.

I hope that’s given you some insight and comfort about storing your Silver Clay once opened. Open and use with confidence!

Til next time
Emma x